player posts on CNET - Page 130

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Unboxing my custom Zune 80

As a longtime iPod loyalist, I had a lot of mixed emotions ordering a Zune 80 for myself last Sunday. Part of me felt like a traitor, honestly. I thought about my poor 5G video iPod, which had been ignored for weeks at the bottom of my messenger bag while I played with Microsoft's loaner for my review. Now, I'd never abandon my iPod completely, especially considering that part of my job is reviewing the seemingly endless parade of iPod accessories. Still, I figure there's room in my life for another MP3 player, right? I mean, I would be negligent as a digital audio journalist if I didn't order one.

Well, my Zune 80 arrived today, and I can honestly say I have no regrets (so far). I went the custom route and ordered the Zune 80 directly from Microsoft on its ZuneOriginals site, complete with custom artwork. Say what you want about the Zune, but the designers have definitely outdone themselves on packaging details. From the foil-embossed box, to the golden envelope, the entire package from ZuneOriginals felt like it should be holding Lil' Jon's diamond-encrusted Pimp Cup.… Read more

Some speakers are still firing on all cylinders

For awhile there we thought the trend of portable cylindrical speakers, which seemed so hot at times this year, had been snuffed out by more beastly competitors. But apparently they're alive and well, as evidenced by this set--they've just been broken in two.

Depending on how much space you have, this compact set can either be kept intact in one piece or separated for wider stereo angles for any device with a 3.5mm jack. What we like most, however, is that it seems perfect for travel: The pieces have a scratch-resistant rubber (and dirt-hiding) black rubber shell, … Read more

Grab screenshots from videos and DVDs

The response to my post last week about how to convert digital photo collections to DVD slide shows was a resounding, "Whatever. How can I grab a screenshot from a video or DVD?"

Who knew that the number of would-be "screencappers" was so legion? Regardless, I'm your humble servant, and your wish is generally my command.

First off, for image screen captures of digital video files, I highly recommend VLC Media Player. I know I mention the free media player quite a bit, but it's still the cream of the freeware video crop for me due to its light footprint and flexibility.… Read more

It's a fact: 32GB Creative Zen coming soon

For those who complained (ahem: me) that the new, flash-based Creative Zen didn't come close to matching the capacity of the player it was replacing (the Zen Vision:M), the day of our comeuppance has arrived...sort of. Technically, that day will arrive sometime around "the middle of next week" (gotta love that commitment), when you'll actually be able to order the player outright. What I refer to, of course, is the release of a 32GB version of the Zen. Sure, it's no 60GB behemoth, but that's still plenty of space for many power … Read more

Adobe slashes price for Flash Media Server

Adobe Systems on Tuesday is expected to announce that it will dramatically cut the price of its server software for streaming video over the Web.

Flash Media Server 3, which is set for release in January, will now come in two versions. Flash Media Streaming Server will cost $995, and Flash Media Interactive Server will cost $4,500.

With the current version, Adobe sells its Media Server for between $4,500 and $45,000.

The company is lowering prices in response to customer requests, said Kevin Towes, product manager for Adobe Media Server. "What we've been hearing is … Read more

Hot deal: 4GB Zune for $149.99

OfficeMax, BuyDig, and other sellers are offering Microsoft's MP3 player at around a 30 percent discount this week. It's the size of a cigarette lighter, it's easy to use, and it's particularly well-priced at the moment. The bottom line on this item, from CNET Reviews' analysis: "While the full-size Zune is a better value, the solid-state flash memory used in the 4GB and 8GB versions make them better suited for physically active (or clumsy) users."

What: 4GB Microsoft Zune MP3 player How much: $149.99 Shipping: Varies Where: BuyDig When: Through December 8 Click … Read more

All iPod accessories, all the time

So you've managed to get your hands on one of the world's most popular MP3 players, the Apple iPod. The device on its own will keep you plenty entertained for sure, but you'll soon realize there's a lot more fun to be had if you move beyond the confines of what comes in the box. To that end, we've created a one-stop-spot for all the aftermarket gear that can help you take full advantage of your player. Whether you're interested in an alarm set-up to coax you out of bed with your favorite tunes, … Read more

Prizefight: iPod vs. Zune

It's the fight you've been waiting for, folks. In one corner, we have the rightfully smug Apple iPod Classic. In the other corner we have the dark horse, the ugly duckling turned swan, the Microsoft Zune 80. After five bruising rounds of unflinching criticism from our three judges, which MP3 player will triumph as the new king of high-capacity music gadget goodness? Read on, to find out.

Video boombox gets a makeover

Even though the whole gadget galaxy sometimes seems to be going retro, every once in awhile we come across a product that actually doesn't want to stay stuck in the past. Case in point: The makers of the iMep video boombox have come up with an updated version of the portable multimedia player that has a more streamlined look and is built to withstand the rigors of today's rough-and-tumble personal entertainment world.

Like the earlier disco model, this new mobile system has a 7-inch LCD, iPod dock, DVD player, and other features, but it also has a "… Read more